When we were an awful lot younger my wife and I used to make a big deal over each other’s birthday.
We both have vivid memories of her 21st when we celebrated both her big day and end of another year of college by loading up my little pickup with camping gear and heading out to the seashore.
Since then, but for a handful of milestone birthdays where a bigger to-do was required (three for each of us to this point), we’ve celebrated by doing whatever the honoree has desired for the day.
That means Kristin has eaten a whole lot of salmon patties and Harvard beets in the middle of January in tribute to me, and I have made a whole lot of Memorial Day weekend drives back and forth to her parents’ place as per her wishes.
Crafty friend sends birthday girl on three-day scavenger hunt
Kristin’s birthday this year was an entirely different adventure thanks to the work of a “crafty” old friend, Jay. Every once in a while, for the shear love of fun and adventure, he takes it upon himself to fashion up a platoon of small, wrapped-wire figurines and stash them out in the world for folks to find.
This time around, Jay’s mischief inadvertently coincided with the weekend of Kristin’s birthday. She looked upon it as if the Easter Bunny had singled her out for a personal egg hunt in one of her favorite spots on the planet, Wooster Memorial Park.
It soon became clear how I’d be spending at least a portion of my weekend. I’d taken Friday off intending to finish up my garden work, set up my little pop-up pool and maybe get ahead on a couple of handyman projects around the house.
Instead, I “celebrated Kristin” by tromping behind her through the wind and rain of an almost comically blustery late May day, carefully eyeballing the close periphery of 5 miles of winding woodland trail looking for a tiny wire man. We spent hours at it, and I gave it my best effort, but alas, no wireman.
Kristin was disappointed, believing that “birthday magic” would undoubtedly lead her to the prize. In an effort to assuage her sorrow I (stupidly) told her maybe we were too early for the magic, seeing as her birthday was the following day.
Taking a backward glance at the trail on day No. 2
You can easily guess where than landed me. We were right back at it the following morning. This time hiking the same trails as the day before, but backward in an effort to “see it through new eyes” as Kristin, now “mission commander” required.
Another 5 miles, another disappointment. I was pretty much done celebrating Kristin by the end of that trek. There’s a fine line between celebration and obsession and I felt we’d trudged across that line several miles back the trail.
Enter Kristin’s “always up for anything” pal, Karen. She agreed to accompany Kristin on one more shot the following day. They had hiked no more than 10 minutes when Kristin struck gold!
A prized wireman and a happy ending in which all the credit goes to Karen as Kristin’s “good luck charm” while I get a polite pat on the head for my efforts.
Kristin and I would love to hear from you! Write to “Send Help,” P.O. Box 170, Fredericksburg 44627. Be sure to check out Facebook for time-lapse film clips of Kristin’s artwork and other fun stuff at JohnLorsonSendHelp.